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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Friday
Sep302005

London Calling!

And Manhattan's lower half has been discovered. Union Square over to Greenwhich Village...Subway down to Battery Park, over to Ground Zero and a zig and a zag through Wall Street later I'm in Chinatown looking at all manner of exotic fruit and strange meats..Done! Manhattan, you've been a lady.

As The Surge didn't mind my posting his last email.. here's the one I received today.. man alive I luuuurve that rockboy! I leave for London tomorrow! As for tonight, my beautiful and talented friend Kate is hosting Hoochie Coo night.. dancing girlz, skimpy clothing, loud music, even louder friends - sounds like the purrrfect place for my Mormon mom and brother, right?.. I'm definitely taking pics of this that I will post!:

My Love.
Missed hearing your voice last night terribly. Called you from within a vast and eerily vacant Paddington Station on the late tip. Left you that voicemail just as young Paddington Bear himself walked slowly across the scummy floor towards some departing train or another. He was carrying a jar of marmalade, and so that's how I knew it was him and not some other English Bear.
Then I had an awful nightmare that I don't even wanna write about.
Then I slept for 13 hours. Yikes.
I cannot wait to see your face, baby. Can't wait for you to finally be in England, be seeing all the sights and hearing all the sounds that make London such a cool city. We are gonna have a blast. Also, I really need to make out with you a bit. For some reason, I am really jonesin for a good kissing session with your gorgeous mug. Spent about a half hour standing in the steamy bathroom this morning lookin at my photos of you and Maxman. Damn, it is strange to be away from you both; I keep wanting to "dig in" to your sore shoulder blades, I keep needing to feel the boy tugging me hard down 5th Street.
Last night we had dinner with our PR lady, Kas, who is very very cool, as well as our newer booking agaent Neil, who once upon a time was high on our shit-list, but who last night seemed to prove himself a bit worthy of a second chance. Funny thing was Neil took us to a American BarBQ joint in SoHo......kinda weird. Maybe he thought we needed a dose of US food? Still, he paid AND bought us 3 bottles of champagne, so he was given our full attention even if the ribs tasted like one of BlackSon's frozen bones.
Later, Kas took us to the very exclusive private club, SoHo House. YOu may have heard of it because there is also one in NYC which is always in US WEEKLY for some celeb shit. The one last night is the one where Jude Law's ex dropped an E pill on the floor during a night of partying, a pill which was promptly picked up and eaten by her and Jude's 3 yr old son! BUT MOSTLY: SoHo House interested me because one Kiera Knightly holds frequently used membership there. And I must say, I was lookin fine as wine last night. Remember we each have one free pass, right? Well, I am actually only somewhat disapointed to report that she mustn't have know I was gonna be in the hizz-ouse lat evening or she woulda come around. Needless to say, she was MIA.
ONE YEAR COMING UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Holy fuck! Do you wanna re-up? I been wondering if this week off of me might have left you thinking? OH well, at least we'll always have London, huh?
I love you girl. With Power. And With £40 in my pocket. So get yer sweet butt over here pronto.
Thursday
Sep292005

Accidental Tourist

My feet are black. I've just finished exploring the whole of Manhattan in flip-flops. From Times Square to Lincoln Center.. Central Park via Lennon's Strawberry Fields over to da East Side for just a quick peek in Bloomingdales, for I could not love myself any longer if I spent more than 50 bucks on a purse ($2,000 dollars for a handbag, good god!) Down for a bit of prayer at St. Patricks Cathedral (actually got reprimanded by my mom for dropping the F bomb inside hallowed doors.. oops!) down to Empire State and up to the top. Now I sit, looking across the East River at the very building I was atop not an hour ago.. Worn out but pleased I squished so much into one day for my mom and bro.. Now we're off to drink our aching bones away at the Brooklyn Ale house. Will post pics and type more soon!
Tuesday
Sep272005

German Marah

Just got an email from The Surge... don't think he'll mind if I post a bit of it here.. gave me a chuckle:

"So, now we leave Berlin. Was a good stay, I think. Some important writers at show last night that seemed to dig us. One of them, whom I´m told is highly esteemed here, shouted out at the top of his lungs "PLAY ZE APATMINT" towards the end of the show. So we did. Was cool.
Also played acoustic DEMON, CITY OF DREAMS, and OUTTA TUNE for the first time. I do believe my banjo playin could use a few lucky charms, but aside from that was a fine, if surreal, way to kick everything off.
Then we were on this fellow´s radio show for about an hour and a half. He was very into Marah; played about 8 of our songs on air. AND translated long rambling answers of ours into German for his listeners. Talented!
Gorgeous morning here in Berlin. Sun is shining, sky is blue, coffee´s strong, and I miss you.
Hope you are ok and work isn´t too crazy. Give Max a treat for me. I love you."
Sunday
Sep252005

Girl Crush

Have you had one of these? I'm talkin' girl on girl crush. Whoaaaa.. I don't mean girl on girl action, although I've been known to lip lock with the same sex a time or two.. I mean the kind of crush you get on fabulous females. The women you come across in the natural course of your life who amaze and inspire..

Like I said, I have three brothers. Wasn't close with my mom growing up. So women have always been a bit of a mystery. I know, I'm a woman. But I didn't really begin to explore womans full potential until recently. I've had great girlfriends. The best. But it's been the same group of girls since elementary school. So now, in this varied city, teaming with every kind of woman on the planet, from everywhere on the planet, I find myself observing, questioning, interested and drawn to these lovely ladies. It's a hard feeling to describe.

Most of the women I was acquainted with before I bolted from Brigham's Playground are Mormon. If not Mormon, they all fit into pretty much the same suburban mold. Fairly popular in high school.. Upon graduation they either, married right away and begin to procreate (like all good Mormon girls do) or they went to college, partied with stereotypical frat boys, majored in something appropriate, got a job that paid well, allowed them to buy their own place and stock it with all things Pottery Barn. And these are the most independant of my Utah crew. I'm not mocking. They are fun, fantastic, fearless females and I adore them all. But the women that roam the streets of New York City are another breed entirely.. These prowling, stalking, wild animals that know exactly what they want and aren't afraid to tell you all about it. They've been everywhere, are unafraid.. the very fact that they moved to New York tells me a lot about their character, adds to their allure.

From women like C.. a rock goddess who tours with a fairly well known musician to K...a creative, brainstorming, events organizing/actress/waitress/personal trainer/musician to S.. an entrepreneurial writer/photographer extraordinaire.. These kind of women are few and far between behind The Zion Curtain. And if they're on The Scene in Salt Lake City, I never met them.. and they aren't the real thing. They're mimicking the woman here in Manhattan. These girls, carbon copies of each other (including me!) stay in SLC, mourn the conservative environment, the iron fist of the Mormon church.. but they won't leave. Eventually they'll marry up, birth babies, and turn into their mothers.

And so I find myself fascinated with this new breed of woman.. Like a crush, I'm almost afraid to converse, I stand in their aura, listen to them speak, shyly offer up opinions then withdraw when I feel my lack of experience peeking through like antique wallpaper underneath the shiny red paint the new tenant splashed up in an attempt to update, keep up with trends.

I feel my New York self deep inside. An embryo, slowly growing, developing fingers, toes.. Now I'm flexing my fingers, as is evidenced by this blog.. and I'm stretching, maturing, exploring my full potential, and I don't care who's reading and what they think..
Saturday
Sep242005

Alone Vs. Lonely

Alone isn't the same as lonely. Right now, however, I am both. The Surge is Berlin bound for the first of many tours this autumn and winter. So here we sit, Max and I. We live on the first floor, good for my wimpy thighs, bad for noise.. Every time Max hears keys jingling at the front of the apartment he runs to our front door, backside wiggling in anxious anticipation of his 'poppers'.. Yes, we are 'poppers' and 'mommers' and he knows what they mean. If I'm busy (a.k.a watching television) and Max is whimpering for a play pal, I can tell him "go see poppers!" and he clickety clacks, dog paws on hardwood floor, down our hallway of an apartment and leaps onto the bed where The Surge is reading some magazine or other. We call him 'Tiny Max', because, of course, he's anything but. He's gargantuan, yet thinks he's but a chihuahua.. so he's forever trodding on someones goodtimes, accidentally whipping unfortunate faces with his always wagging tail, dragging dripping bubble gum tongue over any exposed area of skin.

We could learn a lot from dogs.. Loyalty - there isn't a time I twist the key in the lock that Max isn't dog dancing, skittering across tiled floors to say hello, as if I've been gone for years.. This occurs whether I've been at work all day or just went to check the mail. Perseverance - he will sit, doggy drool dangling nearly to the floor, as we eat our dinner. Doesn't move a muscle, although he knows if he's lucky, he may only get a scrap or two, maybe a lick of the plate. Yet he sits, staring intently, patiently waiting.. Unconditional love - if I sleep late, he doesn't get annoyed, just sleeps until I decide to roll outta bed. If I yell at him, he comes in for a nuzzle to make it all better. So it's not all bad with The Surge out rockboying his way across Europe.. I still have my Maxer..

Last night The Surge and I got into it.. No, not sex silly, a fight. A Monica-tosses- $10-dollar-wedding-ring-across-the-room-and-says-I-want-a-divorce kind of fight. Always one for the dramatics, I let it all hang out last night. Thing is, not sure what started it. Actually, I know what started it.

I've got a good man, I do. It's only that, I'm not sure I'm good. Yeah, The Surge has a way with words, which, while certainly a boon for songwriting and wooing young mormon girls, can cause grave injury mid-argument. He uses the words, as his brother says 'like a sword'. And he can smite you with his weapon of choice if he's so inclined, leaving gaping wounds behind. They slowly scab over, rough scars that I scratch at next time we fight.. My war wounds I wave stupidly, proudly in his face to shame him. But he's all talk. Underneath he's a little boy in love. Any fool can see that, even this one. But I can't just take it at face value, and love back. I have to complicate the issue, second guess myself, wonder if I'm with the right person.

We got married two months after meeting. And it's not like we were dating every night. Met him in Utah - one night. Met up again in Texas - 3 nights. Met again in New York - one week. Then he flew to Utah and we got married. Add it up friends. Yes, we dated a grand total of a week and half before getting hitched. The kicker is, I think we were meant to be. Really I do. And it's taken me nearly a year to figure it out. 'It can't be that easy' I think to myself. 'After dating scores of Mr. Wrong, I can't finally have found my fella', I say to myself. But I did. And he's the most beautiful boy I've ever met.